The majestic mountains of Himachal Pradesh hold innumerable secrets. One such secret is the mysterious village of Malana. Located in Parvati Valley, the village is unlike any other place in the world. It is believed that the natives of this village are the descendants of Alexander the Great’s soldiers. The uniqueness is evident from the lifestyle and social structure of the village inhabitants. They have their own village administration that is supposedly the oldest republic in the world. Malanis are extremely proud of their culture and do not like to mingle with outsiders. In fact, physical contact with the people or their properties is strictly prohibited. The beauty of Malana lies in the fact that it is untouched by pollution and urbanization, having preserved its cultural and natural identity. The pristine rivers and the valleys form an entire world on its own, far away from the pollution and the hustle and bustle of urban India. The economy of this village is solely dependent on tourism and the trade of locally-grown hashish, known as ‘Malana Cream’.
The 21 KM trek to Malana will start at the base camp in the village of Kasol. Located along the spectacular Parvati River, this enchanting village lies high in the hills and is extremely popular among western backpackers, especially Israelis. Hence, it is also known as ‘mini Israel of India’. However, the village is slowly gaining recognition among Indians too. Young tourists will find no dearth of options to explore in Kasol, as there are plenty of bars, cafes, and restaurants to hang out. You can try your hand at Israeli cuisine – start with Chicken shipudim (skewers). Summertime in Kasol is replete with trance parties and music events. Kasol and its nearby areas also have their fair share of interesting tourist attractions. Some of them are Parvati River, Manikaran Gurudwara and Tosh village.
This 2-day trek from Kasol and Malana would be the perfect way to engage the adventurer in you. Take in the sights and sounds of these hill stations and learn about their unique culture and traditions. Make wonderful memories and capture those moments on camera. There is nothing better than a quiet retreat in the hills, away from the woes of your daily life.
Day 1: Kasol - Malana | 2-3 hours | 8701 feet
Your journey to Kasol will start on this day. If you are traveling by road, you need to board an overnight Volvo bus from Delhi the night before, followed by a local taxi or bus ride from Bhuntar to reach Kasol. The other option is to take a train to Ambala or Chandigarh and then board a Volvo bus to Bhuntar. Kasol is a small village that is blessed with nature’s bounty. You should reach the base camp in Kasol before 11:00 AM. From here, transfer to the starting point of the trek and proceed towards the mysterious Malana village, 21 km away. The trek will take you amidst wild and untamed routes, through dense forests and lush valleys. When you reach Malana, rest for a while and prepare for an exciting night camping experience, followed by a scrumptious dinner.
Day 2: Malana - Kasol
In the morning, check out from the camp at Malana after having a delicious breakfast. Start your descent back to the base camp in Kasol. On reaching Kasol, rest for a while and by evening, head back to your destination back home, via your preferred mode of transportation. If you are traveling to Delhi by bus, it is advised that you leave by noon, as bus delays are frequent in this region.
Maximum altitude: 8701 feet
Best time to go: April to June
Minimum people required to operate this trek: 4